Hidden Treasures Of Sweden

Since I have a relatively more outspoken Brazilian culture identity, I am constantly highlighting the beautiful secrets that can be found within Brazilian territories. My Swedish cultural heritage oftentimes becomes overshadowed by my dominant Brazilian traits. So, in this article, I wanted to highlight the hidden part of my identity, which is still very much a part of me, and show you guys some of the most beautiful secrets that Sweden holds, and why it's worth a visit.

Most people associate Sweden with the winter and the cold temperatures, but would you have ever guessed that Sweden has white sand beaches with emerald green waters? In Falsterbo, a city in the south, these beaches are untouched and a local attraction for those who want to relax during the summer without having to leave the country. The houses by the beach are known for resembling gingerbread houses (as most do in Sweden) making the scenery extremely unique by connecting a classic winter symbol with one from the summer.

Sweden is a country that is often highlighted for their high levels of living standard, known as being impeccable and is always ahead of the game in terms of technology, education, and healthcare. In Helsingborg, Swedish people have dedicated a full museum to failures. The Museum of Failures recognizes many innovative products that were completely unsuccessful in their market attempts, but also shows that there is so much learning that comes from failure. Some of the objects featured are COKE II, Bic Pens for Her, Google Glass, Trump the Game etc. The museum is meant to show that there is a place for projects that went south, and that the willingness to take risks, is the reason why society has gotten to where it is today.  

When walking around in Stockholm, your eyes will be glancing around at the beautiful architecture that surrounds the city, recreating art pieces in every direction. Not only is there art above ground, but when you walk into the subway network (Tunnelbana) each station is an art gallery in and of itself, and is known as the longest art gallery in the world.

Many have probably heard of this one, the Ice Hotel in Kiruna, way up north. I find it important to mention this one because it is the world's first ice hotel and the architecture is completely magnificent. The fact that people built a full hotel out of ice, and that it is habitable is truly fascinating. I also want to highlight a tradition that is held in Gävle around Christmas and New Year's Eve. A huge straw goat, called the Gävle Goat,  is built and it becomes some form of competition to destroy it amongst the community, this can happen through burning the goat, smashing it, and it has even been run over by a car. Nothing can save this goat, not even a Christmas miracle.

Even small moments of appreciation like this one, allows me to develop a deeper connection with my identity and make it more prevalent in my life. I personally believe that it is extremely important for individuals to be constantly exploring themselves through external sources in order to better understand who they are. One way of doing this is exploring your own culture and understanding how characteristics that make our culture make us. Another way of self-development is through exploring other cultures, which is why I believe traveling is so important, and even if you are unable to travel, read and educate yourself on these other cultures. It is amazing how many similarities you can have with individuals from cultures that are across the world, but the most beautiful things are the differences and how that makes up each interaction and the effect that it has. I hope that this small article about one of my homes and cultural identity will spark within you a great interest to explore Sweden or other cultures.